Portal 2 review
My GOTY 2011 - A perfect puzzle game.

The good:

Casting and voice work
Puzzles themselves are good
Co-op is truly amazing
Graphics are top notch

The bad:

A little bit too short storywise
And the story wasn't very deep


I was recommended Portal 2 by a friend of mine who said I'd adore it and that it's a top notch puzzle game with some banter thrown in, I told him he was insane and I really don't like puzzle games but I completely take back my first hesitations towards the game after 5 minutes of playing. I hadn't played the first Portal game that was part of The Orange Box collection with Team Fortress 2 and Half Life 2 so I was thrown in a little in the deep end when it came to knowledge but I was caught up right away and felt storywise I didn't need to have played the 1st game as it was all self explanatory.

One of the first things I noticed was Steven Merchant doing the voice over for Wheatley and the dialogue was very humorous and with Merchant on it, he has a very sarcastic and condescending voice style which went with the character so well. Also found later on that J.K. Simmons (Spiderman) was in the game and also did excellent voice work. But yeah, sticking with the point... The story with what little there is focuses on you being a test subject that has to pass multiple puzzles set up for you by Glados who is the AI robot that was shut down at the end of the last game but has now woken up thinking this new person you play as is the same one from the last game and forces puzzles onto you that can be life threatening and you use the portal gun to shoot blue and orange holes in walls to travel to the next area while putting boxes on switches and defying gravity with polarity fields.

Really the story doesn't matter, it seems like something on the side to go along with each puzzle room, though most puzzle rooms are quite simple and don't require much effort and looking around. There was only a few that I had a bit of difficulty with but those mostly came later on when things like the blue and orange liquids came into it making you slide and bounce everywhere.

Graphics are brilliant, very bright in most puzzle rooms and become very dark and gritty in areas that have been destroyed and need to progress through in the story, as I mentioned the voice acting is excellent along with the in-game sounds, in these departments the game never stepped a foot wrong... I honestly don't remember having a single glitch in this game, it ran like clockwork.

Co-op is truly the reason to buy the game, it is where the true challenges are! Using 4 portals instead of 2 it makes you think a lot more about what has to be done to progress, co-op can be done both split-screen and online though the online can be a bit of a hassle with no microphone and the 1 second delay when using a microphone. The game does allow you to bark orders at your partner by pressing L2 which points an arrow to where you're trying to hint but like I say unless there's a microphone being used there is a fair amount of confusion, there's also the issue of playing with inexperienced people or really experienced people in co-op. You could know what you're doing and your partner doesn't or the other way round sometimes so really you could get frustrated because your partner won't let you figure the puzzle out alone or you get impatient when your partner is being too slow which is why I recommend doing the game split-screen with someone you know while working it out together, it's a lot more fun this way.

Last part on the achievements/trophies; very easy game for the most part, all areas have achievements/trophies... Story has a decent amount, co-op has quite a few and there are a couple of challenge based achievenments/trophies in there too, a couple can be frustrating and those are mostly co-op ones but I personally feel that the game is THAT GOOD that even if you get stuck at 98% struggling for the last one, that last trophy will be so much fun to earn, always!

So to summarize: This game is truly brilliant and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, great humour, great puzzles, best co-op ever, truly perfect... My game of the year for 2011.


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0 thumbs!
InsanityS Jun 10, 12
Great to see you go into detail in a variety of different areas. Especially the documentation on the co-op and giving a few examples of the puzzle actions required.

I'd personally opt for a bit more detail on how the portal gun works. You've done some already in describing the blue and orange portals but I think clarifying that you go through one to exit the other (even if that sounds like it should be obvious), how you can only apply the portals to certain surfaces and how you make use of things like momentum in relation to them to perform amazing feats would give a greater insight into what people are letting themselves in for.

And yes, it's a fantastic game.
0 thumbs!
RC Cola King Jun 12, 12
Your review was great and you went very in depth with how the game works, but I don't think you gave the story enough credit. It's hard to see some of the more subtle areas of it, but if you look into it enough, it really is fairly deep. Through Cave Johnson's pre-recorded messages you can learn all about his, and Aperature's down fall, and the origin of GlaDOS herself.

Also, it's not a different person from the first game, it's the same one. The character's name is Chell, and at the end of the first game, she killed GlaDOS, and was put into a some sort of preservation sleep, and was kept alive until Wheatley found her many years later. Just thought I'd mention.
0 thumbs!
Minds Jun 13, 12
Ah ok thanks for the correction, was left under the influence that it wasn't the same character from the conversations Wheatley was having, also I agree with you in some ways with the whole finding out what happened to GLADOS later on but to me those were during the more complex puzzles so I was really only concerned with getting to the next area.

Thanks for your input.
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